Zynga is nearly a dead horse. It really is. The stock is in a dire state, they've shutdown their Boston studio, laid off their Austin staff and plan to close their Japan and UK outlets. Zynga is nearly a dead horse. However, EA isn't reveling in the demise of their arch-social rival, instead EA's Peter Moore spoke on behalf of the company, saying that they don't find joy in people losing jobs.
Eurogamer has the full breakdown from Moore, EA's COO, who explicitly states...
"We always feel bad when people lose their jobs," ... "Our hope is certainly the locations I've read online, those folks can get re-employed pretty quickly."
Yeah, I feel bad for the employees, too. I don't feel bad for Zynga biting the dust. I've always said that they were the bane to gaming culture, heck even Tim Schafer mentioned that games like FarmVille weren't even real games during the State of the Industry on GameTrailers, it was just a money pit where you clicked on the screen until you were required to feed the machine to “progress”.
I hated their business concept of “steal whatever you can to mimic success until you're successful”. It finally bit them square on their financial balls and ripped them right off. The company's stock has tanked and they're bleeding out faster than a 12-year-old Call of Duty player getting attacked by zombies in DayZ. A lot of this is attributed to the over-estimation for the popularity and gain of social/casual gaming, which was not (and will not ever be) the meteoric end-all of gaming that so many companies had been banking on.
Moore shares his thoughts on this over-confidence in the social space, saying...
"The overheating and overhyping of social gaming over the last year-and-a-half has put this thing on the front pages of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and the Times of London, and has made this an interesting focal point for our industry,"
Uh, what's going on with Zynga is that they're dying because 85% of casual gamers only play for one day and then quit. Any retard could have guessed that casual gamers don't have elasticity when it comes to gaming sustenance. They're not going to monetarily contribute on a predefined or standardized basis.
All the companies jumping on the social/casual bandwagon were just looking at adoption rates for mobile users and the spread of viral, one-off games like Angry Birds thinking they could cash-in. They were wrong.
The social space is an entirely different beast than the hardcore space, and marketing and maintaining a social game requires a different approach than marketing and servicing core titles. It will be interesting to see how EA and other big corps feel their way through the casual gaming market space, especially as Zynga continues their fast dive into oblivion.
(Image courtesy of Kwalee)